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About The Shire

Blayney is a town with a population of 3,500, located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, approximately 3.5 hours by road from the centre of Sydney. It is the centre of a closely settled and populous district, which stretches east to Bathurst, southwest to Cowra and north to Orange. Blayney is a comfortable 25 minutes drive to Bathurst with a population 33,000 and to Orange with a population 34,000. Blayney Shire is fortunate to have a number of historic and picturesque villages.

Blayney Shire is at an altitude of 850 metres above sea level. The passage of the seasons is more marked than on the coast with 4 distinct seasons. The summer climate is ideal, with warm days and cool nights. Autumn and Spring are true seasons of change and winters are cold with frosts and occasional snow.

Blayney Shire's industries generate substantial employment within the Region. Unemployment in the area is significantly below the State average and National averages and the demand for labour in Blayney is heavily supplemented by residents of Orange and Bathurst, who commute to Blayney daily.

History of Blayney Shire

Blayney, the Village Shire, has a rich and fascinating history stretching back more than 170 years. Prior to European settlement, the area had been home to clans of the Wiradjuri tribe of First Nations People for thousands of years. The tension between early settlers and the Wiradjuri eventually led to the After the crossing of the Blue Mountains by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth in 1813, European settlement began with the proclamation of a town (Bathurst) in 1815. That same year, Surveyor George Evans set out to explore the country to the south of Bathurst, thus bringing him into the lands that eventually became part of the Blayney Shire. The first landmark he named was near the eastern boundary of the shire  - a row of three rounded hills which he named after the Governor and dignitaries of the time, but later became known  as the “Three Brothers.”  The second landmark he came across was the mountain near Carcoar, now called Mount Macquarie.

After Evans’ exploration, government surveys were carried out, which enabled early land grants to notable settlers and government officials, leading to the establishment of Carcoar, followed by Blayney in 1843. During this period the local Wiradjuri people were dispossessed of their territory, particularly after the declaration of martial law in 1824.

As the major centre in the area, Carcoar benefited most from the gold rushes of the 1850s, but then had to contend with the bushrangers who frequented the district during the 1860s, notably Ben Hall and his associates – Gilbert, O’Meally, Vane and Bourke.

The coming of the railway to Blayney in 1876 was a significant factor in its development. It led to its position as the shire centre, at the expense of Carcoar, which enabled its preservation as a significant historic village within the shire. The shire has primarily been a farming and grazing area, but intermittent mining activity boosted the town and village economies. As a result, the Village Shire now boasts a number of other historic villages as well as Carcoar, including Barry, Millthorpe Lyndhurst, Mandurama, Neville and Newbridge, all with unique histories.

In addition to the region’s history, many attractions and features make this Village Shire a unique holiday destination. Bushwalking, cycling and horse riding in the picturesque countryside; water sports at Carcoar Dam; fishing in the shire’s streams and waterways; or exploring the mining and agricultural heritage of the area offers a fulfilling experience. Complemented by the beautiful scenery of rolling hills, a myriad of creeks, streams, and fresh mountain air offer an inviting experience.

Visit the Blayney Shire Information Centre to learn more about the area's history, and attractions things to see and do. In addition, resources are available online via Orange360 to plan your visit to the Village Shire.

Last modified: 19 Oct 2023